James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
"Still shakin' it, boss." Paul Newman in his blue-eyed prime stars in one of the greatest prison flicks ever made
A never-better Paul Newman is the non-conformist, anti-hero loner of the title. Arrested for vandalizing parking meters, he ends up on a chain gang in a Southern prison. Pigheadedly resisting authority, he gains the respect of his fellow prisoners, and becomes a hero to them, more so after hearing of his mother's death, when he makes persistent attempts to escape.
The Luke-as-Christ religious allegory has come in for some critical stick, but it's still cracking entertainment. There are unforgettable scenes (you'll never look at hard-boiled eggs the same way again) and superb acting. Newman is irresistible, Donn Pearce's adaptation of his novel is quite brilliant and Conrad L Hall's cinematography is stunning.
A tough, taut, smart milestone in the evolution of the American anti-hero, and cracking entertainment too.
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